He led four different schools — Canisius, Richmond, West Virginia and Michigan — to the NCAA Tournament, and he took the Wolverines to a pair of national championship game appearances in 2013 and 2018. He is also the consummate good-guy coach, and that will attract the attention of several college basketball programs who might be seeking something more out of their program.MORE: Beilein would be prize of coaching carousel in return from NBAHere is a look at some of those schools and their potential fit with Beilein:TexasTexas is going to get the most attention, and it fits. Shaka Smart is 85-77 with two tournament appearances through five seasons, and Beilein would have more resources to work with than he did at West Virginia and Michigan. Lon Kruger, also 67, has had steady success with rival Oklahoma in the form of six tournament appearances and a 2016 Final Four appearance. Beilein’s coaching style suits the Big 12 well, too: He had over-the-top success at Michigan, and he could do the same at another football-first-school.IndianaThe better move for Indiana is to stick it out with Archie Miller, who should be able to push the Hoosiers into the NCAA Tournament this year (it will be close). Indiana hasn’t advanced past the Sweet 16 since 2002, and the Hoosiers have an outgoing athletic director in Fred Glass at the end of the school year. Beilein also would be the fifth different hire for the Hoosiers since Bob Knight left. This is a tempting move, but the timing doesn’t seem right. Holding on to Miller is the better play.Boston CollegeThe Eagles are looking at a 11th straight season without a tournament appearance, and that would be bad news for sixth-year coach Jim Christian. It would be a chance for Beilein — who coached in the Big East and Big Ten — to bring that style to the ACC. Boston College used to be a tournament regular under Al Skinner, so it’s not like success is impossible in Chestnut Hill. The only question is whether the rebuild would take too long.Wake ForestThe Demon Deacons have almost an identical situation as Boston College. Danny Manning hasn’t managed better than a First Four berth in six seasons, and the Demon Deacons haven’t been to the Sweet 16 since 2004. Ironically, it was a Beilein-led West Virginia team that beat Chris Paul-led Wake Forest in a 111-105 second-round thriller in 2005. Beilein’s demeanor meshes with the program, which has been absent from the national stage for far too long. Think Beilein is too old to make it work in the Carolinas? Look at what Mack Brown is doing in football. This is the best fit among the ACC schools.MORE: Sporting News’ March Madness projections 1.0 The Cleveland Cavaliers and John Beilein ended their partnership on Wednesday — a professional relationship that was ill-fated from the start. (UPDATE: The Cavs said Beilein will be reassigned within the organization after resigning as head coach.)Cleveland has a 14-40 record under Beilein in his first foray into the NBA. If there’s a silver lining — and there is — then it’s that Beilein, who turned 67 on Feb. 5, is the prize of the college basketball coaching carousel. Georgia TechYet another ACC school dealing with a drought, Georgia Tech has not made the NCAA tournament since 2010, and Josh Pastner hasn’t produced more than 21 wins in a single season. Wake Forest and Boston College might be quicker to move on, but Georgia Tech has a decent recruiting base. Beilein also would be competing on that circuit with Georgia coach Tom Crean. Georgia Tech would have to be aggressive in their pursuit of Beilein, given the other options available.MinnesotaMinnesota has made two tournament appearances under Richard Pitino, but it has been a perpetual bubble team that hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. This would put Beilein back in the Big Ten, but there isn’t quite the same recruiting base that he had at Michigan. Northwestern is another Big Ten school to keep an eye on, but Beilein might cost too much.Any volatile schoolAny school that gets a notice of allegations from the NCAA, or a coach who gets suspended, is worth keeping an eye on. Kansas, Arizona and LSU, among others, are all worth watching simply because of the volatility. If there’s a change at any of those schools, it would be best to bring in the cleanest coach possible. Beilein has epitomized that throughout his coaching career. Fit would be a consideration, of course, but no coach is more deserving of another shot at a return to college basketball.
MORE 2020 NFL DRAFT:Live grades | Pick tracker | Top 100 big board Joe Burrow might have gone No. 1 in the 2020 NFL Draft, but Henry Ruggs III may be its biggest winner.Ruggs, the first receiver taken off the board (he went No. 12 overall to the Raiders), was wearing a robe in his home as his name was called. It was the power move of the draft thus far. “It was just something different,” he told ABC’s Tom Rinaldi after getting his name called. “I partnered with Old Spice. They’re doing some things to help the community. But I’m here at home, I’m with the fam, and I’m just relaxing. A fast guy like me has get off his feet and shake back sometimes. …”Ruggs wasn’t wearing the robe just for comfort. He was paid to make the fashion choice to promote the fact Old Spice has made a $320,000 donation to United Way in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.It’s not to be comfortable. Raiders pick Henry Ruggs III got paid to wear that bathrobe. He’s wearing an Old Spice robe to call attention to the company’s $320,000 donation to United Way on behalf of rookies from all 32 NFL teams to kickstart their community efforts. pic.twitter.com/qNAe5AAlim— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 24, 2020All we’re hearing is that Ruggs was paid to be comfortable when his name was called. That’s a win-win.
Getty Images https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/b3/cf/jacob-eason-081818-getty-ftrjpg_qpwg0huazbu3194obsin1rddu.jpg?t=-284665252&w=500&quality=80 MORE NFL DRAFT:Top 100 players | 2020 mock draft with tradesJust as important as finding value in later rounds is avoiding busts in the NFL Draft. All of the biggest draft whiffs in NFL history were first-round (usually top-10) picks whose failure set back the teams that invested such valuable selections in them. That’s why our list of NFL Draft bust candidates for 2020 is limited to projected first-rounders, plus a few quarterbacks who could be picked as potential franchise passers.For the same reasons NFL teams annually miss on draft picks with inaccurate evaluations or projections, we can’t predict a player’s failure, but we can point out some negative factors that are beyond his control. For Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, it’s the injuries. For other first-rounders, it’s the pressure that comes with being part of a deep class at their positions. For all the top quarterbacks, it’s simply the pressure that comes with being a top quarterback.Using our complete, seven-round NFL mock draft as a guide, here are the 2020 prospects who carry the most bust potential despite their upside.2020 NFL Draft bust candidates Tua Tagovailoa, QB, AlabamaMock draft: Round 1, No. 5, DolphinsWe all know by now this has everything to do with the injuries and nothing to do with Tagovailoa’s off-the-charts ability. And to some, the nasty hip fracture that prematurely ended his final season at Alabama — one from which he has recovered ahead of schedule — isn’t as concerning as the broken finger, the sprained knee, the tweaked quad and the pair of ankle injuries that preceded it during his college career.Any NFL talent evaluator who believes in injury proneness is probably terrified by the idea of drafting Tua Tagovailoa to be the team’s franchise quarterback. If the injuries follow him from college to the pros, they could result in the kind of draft whiff that would derail a team for years.Of course, if Tagovailoa can manage to stay relatively healthy in the NFL, there’s little doubt the team that selects him will be landing a franchise-changing star. At this point, it’s about weighing how big of an “if” that is.MORE: Why scouting limitations are good for Tua (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/d4/be/jordan-love-051919-getty-ftrjpg_6z9166b91ln11h6tz5q7yi319.jpg?t=2119900953&w=500&quality=80 Jalen Hurts, QB, OklahomaMock draft: Round 3, No. 80, RaidersThe risks with Hurts are pretty much the same as those associated with Eason — although a Hurts selection by a team in a similar QB situation and at a similar point in the draft would ring much louder since he is such a high-profile prospect.If a team picks Hurts in the third round or higher with the intention of developing him to be its multi-year starter, it will do so largely because of his toughness and leadership intangibles. Otherwise, nobody is confusing him with Kyler Murray, last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick from the same offense at Oklahoma, or even Baker Mayfield before him. Jacob Eason, QB, WashingtonMock draft: Round 3, No. 75, ColtsIf you’re sensing a theme here, you should be. Quarterback selections beyond the first round in the NFL Draft typically carry much more weight than others given the impactful nature of the position.To be fair, whether Eason will become a true bust candidate depends on who drafts him and at what pick. If the team already has a young, established passer and is simply interested in Eason as a high-quality backup, there’s little risk involved. If it’s a team like the Colts, who employ an aging Philip Rivers on a one-year contract and should be looking toward the future, the pressure on Eason to become a quality starter increases.No, not many top NFL quarterbacks were drafted in Round 3 or later. But if a team like the Colts were to select Eason at that point in the process, it would be natural for that team and its fans to dream about the scenarios that produced Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott and Tom Brady. Though some picks can be considered relatively safe, there is no such thing as a sure bet in the NFL Draft. All selections are inherently risky because of the long list of variables that determine whether a prospect will have a successful pro career, not to mention the importance of every selection for a team’s future.In 2020, for a handful of projected first-round picks and quarterbacks, the risks attached to their selections are amplified. Mekhi Becton, OT, LouisvilleMock draft: Round 1, No. 6, ChargersTo be clear, this is less about Becton’s potential and more about what appears to be a top-heavy class of offensive tackles.In SN’s mock draft, Becton is the first of five tackles picked in the first round. Whoever actually gets selected first among them — whether it’s Becton, Jedrick Wills, Tristan Wirfs, Andrew Thomas or Josh Jones — will have a tough time proving he was indeed the best tackle in the 2020 class, and therefore will take on the most bust potential. That pressure would be amplified if a team like the Chargers were to pass on another obvious need (quarterback) in the top 10 and draft what it believes is a long-term left tackle.Becton specifically benefits from his ridiculous NFL Combine measurables. The rare athleticism at his size is intriguing enough for a team to fall in love with the wrong qualities. Getty Images https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/5d/27/tee-higgins-081818-getty-ftrjpg_1efy204c37njt1173m1yrc86ip.jpg?t=1126840671&w=500&quality=80 All first-round wide receiversMock draft: Six wide receivers — CeeDee Lamb (No. 12, Raiders); Jerry Jeudy (No. 13, 49ers); Henry Ruggs III (No. 15, Broncos); Justin Jefferson (No. 21, Eagles); Tee Higgins (No. 25, Vikings); Jalen Reagor (No. 30, Packers)Yep, all of them. Good luck knowing definitively which of these impressive wideouts will have the best NFL career.Comb through any recent NFL Draft, and you’ll find later-round wide receivers who have either outperformed or at least played on par with first-round picks. Much of this is the nature of a position dependent upon so many on-field variables like scheme, QB play and pass protection. Of the 13 wide receivers across AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters last year, for example, only four (DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, Mike Evans and Amari Cooper) entered the NFL as first-round picks.That means the top receivers drafted in 2020 will be expected to shine brightest among what many consider one of the deepest wide receiver classes in the history of the draft.Sure, it’s reasonable to anticipate strong NFL careers from Lamb, Jeudy, Ruggs, Jefferson, Higgins and Reagor. But what about Brandon Aiyuk, Laviska Shenault Jr., Michael Pittman Jr., KJ Hamler, Denzel Mims, Chase Claypool, Tyler Johnson, Jauan Jennings, Bryan Edwards, KJ Hill, John Hightower, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Van Jefferson, Isaiah Hodgins and Devin Duvernay? (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/1c/62/tua-tagovailoa-110719-getty-ftrjpg_13hbd1dmz4dzp1dfg6yw7fxqxc.jpg?t=1194375326&w=500&quality=80 Jordan Love, QB, Utah StateMock draft: Round 2, No. 37, ChargersWhile coaching and scheme changes certainly were factors, Love might be having a hard time explaining to NFL teams how he went from throwing six interceptions as a sophomore to throwing 17 interceptions in his final college season as a junior — all while his passing touchdown total dropped from 32 to 20.That inconsistency would be among the sources of risk for a team like the Chargers if it were to wait to draft Love in the second round; even more so if a team were to reach for him in the first.The upside of Love’s arm talent is obvious. But again, like with Herbert, there are too many variables at play for a team to feel completely comfortable drafting Love to be its franchise quarterback.MORE: Ranking every first-round QB since 2000 (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/e8/26/jalen-hurts-022720-getty-ftrjpg_19umt9o916f2v1or3id17ofqnb.jpg?t=-1988854984&w=500&quality=80 (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/ff/43/mekhi-becton-nfl-combine-ftr_rs0dh45jewi111nsnjtj60mzx.png?t=2043410473&w=500&quality=80 (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/d1/23/justin-herbert-083119-getty-ftrjpg_po34ydy8gaqe1ivhdmeivkr9m.jpg?t=-370115756&w=500&quality=80 Justin Herbert, QB, OregonMock draft: Round 1, No. 9, JaguarsThere’s a chance Herbert will be drafted before Tagovailoa simply because the Oregon quarterback does not come with the injury concerns. Yet Herbert still carries all the risks associated with drafting a top-10 quarterback in general.There’s plenty to like about Herbert, including his strong arm, his running ability and what his coaches tout as a hard-working mentality. Yet, as is the case with all QBs in this class not named Joe Burrow or Tagovailoa, accurately projecting the translation of his skills to the NFL is impossible with so many variables like scheme fit and environment impacting the process.It’s the case for all prospects, but especially for one like Herbert: The higher he is drafted, the riskier of a pick he will be.MORE: Each team’s biggest NFL Draft regret
While the rest of the world took serious steps to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Sweden stood firm.The Scandinavian country has broken the trend of nearly every other European and North American country by allowing schools, restaurants, bars and other businesses to stay open despite the pandemic. The results are still open to debate, but, at least for now, the policy remains in place. As the number of confirmed cases continues to grow in Sweden, player health does start to become an issue. Dreger said the league will continue to monitor the situation overseas. “What happens when these players are welcomed back to North America? No doubt about it, these players will be quarantined, and there are some guys who believe that the players will also face mandatory NHL testing,” he said. Of course, the players are well within their rights to take advantage of rinks bring open as long as the country allows it. As Dreger noted, the NHL’s advice for players to quarantine was a recommendation, not a directive. However, as confirmed COVID-19 cases rise in Sweden, there are growing calls to shut down many public facilities. It remains to be seen whether Swedish players will be able to continue skating as the league edges closer to announcing a return date. Among the many facilities that have stayed open are ice rinks, allowing some Swedish NHL players to continue to skate despite the rest of the league being cooped up at home. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported on “Insider Trading” last week that Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson is one of several Swedes that has been skating amid the pandemic. He said it hasn’t gone down well with a few other NHL players.”I can tell you, there are some NHL players in North America who do not like the idea given the competitive edge you might see,” he said. Anaheim Ducks defenseman Michael Del Zotto agreed, saying the players that are skating will have a big advantage when the NHL does resume activities.”I know things are normal [in Sweden],” he said on Toronto 1050’s ‘First Up with Landsberg and Colaiacovo’ last week. “It’s very different [there] and they’re going to have an advantage. I didn’t know about the skating side, so now they’re going to have an even bigger advantage. If you take the skating away from it, even just training there are a lot of guys that are in a tough spot, guys that are in small condos.”So these players in Sweden have a huge advantage.”MORE: Canucks’ Alex Edler watching 2011 playoff highlights in quarantineApart from simply helping players keep the rust off, Del Zotto added that being able to have time on the ice will play a big part in preventing injuries when hockey does return. “If this goes on two months, three months and we get into August and we plan on coming back; to be off the ice for three or four months, even in a normal circumstance, that doesn’t happen,” he said. “When you have a normal offseason you take off a month or whatever and you slowly get back into it, so these guys are going to have a huge advantage not just as far as being ready to play but healthwise as well.” Last week, Petterson’s teammate Jacob Markstrom spoke to reporters on a video call from his hometown of Gavle, Sweden, and noted that the country is running fairly normally. He’s staying home as much as he can, though, and he actually left his equipment back in Vancouver.Markstrom traveled back home to Sweden about three weeks prior to the call after rehabbing a knee injury; players who were injured have been allowed to continue their rehabilitation at their team’s facilities — including getting onto the ice. He also told reporters that he’s working with a trainer but is trying to be careful, as he doesn’t want to get sick or pass it on to anyone.
2020 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300Generally speaking, most fantasy owners don’t have a set draft strategy when it comes to OF, especially if they play in just a three-OF league. If your league starts five OFs, the position is more of a priority, but even then, you’re just looking for good values as they come to you in the draft. Most owners want some steals from at least one of their OFs, but if you load up on SBs in your infield, you can’t necessarily need anyone who will swipe more than 15 bags. Regardless, diversifying your OF is a good way to balance your team and fill in the category cracks. That’s why our sub-tiers are really more important than the tiers themselves. Finding players who are more of a help in a particular category, be it steals, average, or homers, is how you adjust quickly and have a successful draft. As such, it’s important to note that our sub-tiers are based on the type of production a player offers. Just because a player is in, say, Tier 3C doesn’t mean he’s worse than a player in Tier 3A — it just means he typically produces more or less in a specific category. It should also be noted that our OF rankings are based on the idea that a player is solely eligible at outfield. Players eligible at other positions may be ranked higher in our overall rankings. DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2020 Fantasy Baseball Cheat SheetWho are the best fantasy baseball OFs?Eligibility based on Yahoo default settings* = Player not eligible at that position on draft day but expected to play there during the seasonAll seven of our Tier-1 OFs are first-round worthy. There’s a strong case to be made for the players in Tier 1A to be the first three picks in the draft, as all hit for average, hit for power, and can steal a good amount of bases. Mookie Betts will probably steal the fewest bases among this group, but we know what kind of overall upside he has. The guys in Tier 1B can steal bases, too, but they project to top out around half of the Tier 1A guys. These are still bona fide superstars, though, with each capable of hitting .300 with close to a league-leading amount of HRs. Juan Soto hasn’t done either yet, but you know it’s in him. We put J.D. Martinez in his own sub-tier because he doesn’t steal bases, but he can mash with the best of them and post an average well over .300, which is a rare combination at any position. Starting your draft with any of these players puts you in a great spot. If you take Martinez, you’ll probably want to look for some steals in the second or third round, but you will have plenty of time to fill in that gap. TIER 1ARonald Acuna Jr., BravesChristian Yelich, BrewersMookie Betts, DodgersTIER 1BMike Trout, AngelsCody Bellinger, Dodgers (also eligible at 1B)Juan Soto, NationalsTIER 1CJ.D. Martinez, Red SoxMore 2020 Fantasy Baseball: Auction Values | Mock Draft Simulator2020 Fantasy Baseball Tiers: Tier-2 OFsEven a quick glance at our Tier-2 OFs might make you question some things. Guys like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have more power upside than Nicholas Castellanos and Kris Bryant, yet they’re in the same sub-tier, and Charlie Blackmon stole just two bases last year and hit 40 points higher than Bryce Harper, but they’re also in the same sub-tier. Look, if we really wanted to pick nits, we’d probably have about six sub-tiers in each tier, but when you’re drafting these players (as early as the second round, but likely in Rounds 3-6), you’re thinking in general terms: Who hits more homers? Who steals a few bases to go with their power? Who steals a lot of bases and has moderate power? Tier 2A features power hitters, and while some will hit more than others, these are all 30-plus HR guys who can drive in 100 runs and hit around .280 over a full season. Stanton is probably going to have the lowest average of the group (if he ever gets on the field), but most of these guys will hit somewhere between .275-.300. Tier 2B features solid-HR hitters who can also steal 10-20 bases over a full season. As we noted, Blackmon stopped running last year, which could easily happen again this year, but he stole at least 12 bases in five straight seasons before, so that pace is within reach. Tier 2C features a pair of players who can hit a decent amount HRs and steal a lot of bases. It’s a bit of a moot point to include Villar here, as he will likely be slotted into an infield spot by whoever drafts him (and he won’t be OF-eligible during your draft), but he’s a difference-maker in SBs. Because virtually every first-round pick (with the exception of SPs and possibly Trea Turner) hits homers, the guys in Tier 2A likely won’t be “targeted”, per se. Rather, they’ll be drafted highly when they present fair value. The guys in the other sub-tiers might be specific targets because fantasy owners are always hunting for SBs. That might cause them to go earlier than expected.There’s nothing wrong with reaching for one of them, but it’s important to realize that someone like Harper or Meadows isn’t going to swing a category for you. Likewise, it’s important to remember that you’re giving up some HRs and RBIs with Villar and maybe even Marte, so plan accordingly with your other picks. TIER 2AGeorge Springer, AstrosAaron Judge, YankeesYordan Alvarez, AstrosGiancarlo Stanton, YankeesEloy Jimenez, White SoxKris Bryant, Cubs (3B)Nicholas Castellanos, RedsTIER 2BBryce Harper, PhilliesCharlie Blackmon, RockiesAustin Meadows, RaysTIER 2CStarling Marte, D-backsJonathan Villar*, Marlins (2B, SS)2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfielder | Starter | Each team2020 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Tier-3 OFSOnce again we have a big tier, and most of the guys in Tier 3 aren’t that much different than those in Tier 2. This is where that “razor thin” differentiation comes in. Tier 3A features guys who can hit HRs with good averages and steal a decent amount of bases. Andrew Benintendi has had declining HR totals the past two seasons, so projecting him to get to a significant amount might be a bit of a stretch, but he’s hit 20 HRs before, and at 25, he should be coming into his prime. The averages are what really separate these guys and make them worthy of sharing the same tier as some of the other players who hit significantly more homers or steal more bases. The guys in Tier 3C are pretty similar, though they have higher SB upside. All will still likely hit a good amount of HRs with regular playing time, but batting average could be mediocre for all except Whit Merrifield. Most fantasy owners won’t care about the .265 averages or relatively mediocre RBI totals since they’re getting legit power-speed threats, and we don’t blame them. Tier 3B is your classic slugger tier. The averages don’t figure to be great in this tier (though one or two could surprise), but there’s big homer potential from most of these players. Bump that up to bigger potential for Jorge Soler, Joey Gallo, and even Aristides Acquino, assuming he plays regularly. If you invested in a Trea Turner-type early, targeting one of these mashers in the seventh round makes sense. The reliability of players starts to drop off after this tier, so you probably want at least two or three OFs from the first three tiers, depending on how many you start. You can live with only one, but you pretty much know what you’re getting from these guys barring injury. TIER 3AKetel Marte, D-backs (2B, SS)Andrew Benintendi, Red SoxRamon Laureano, A’sTIER 3BJorge Soler, RoyalsFranmil Reyes, IndiansKyle Schwarber, CubsJoey Gallo, RangersAristides Acquino, RedMarcell Ozuna, BravesMichael Conforto, MetsWillie Calhoun, RangersJustin Upton, AngelsTIER 3CWhit Merrifield, Royals (2B)Oscar Mercado, IndiansVictor Robles, NationalsLuis Robert, White SoxTommy Pham, PadresKyle Tucker, Astros2020 Fantasy Baseball Tiers, Draft Strategy:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Starter | RelieverFantasy Baseball Tiers: Tier-4 OFsWhen it’s time to start drafting Tier-4 OFs (early-middle rounds), it’s all about the categories. It’s possible someone will fall too far and be too good of a value to pass up, but for the most part, you’re thinking about balancing your team. If you need good HR upside and a few SBs, go for the guys in Tier 4A. If you need a good average and a few less HRs, go for Tier 4B. If you need steals, Tier 4C is for you. And if you need someone with a more balanced power-speed upside, look no further than Tier 4D.Byron Buxton and Mallex Smith aren’t exactly the same type of player. Buxton should hit more HRs and provide more RBIs, but Smith figures to steal more bases. Still, both qualify as “steals guys”. Tier 4D is likely the one most people will target, though with all but one player eligible at an infield position, it’s likely most will be drafted earlier and won’t be used as OFs by their owners. All the players in these sub-tiers have value and upside, and unless you’re desperate for steals or you think a sleeper like Lourdes Gurriel Jr. or Nick Senzel is going to break out this year, you don’t need to reach for them. Look for value and fill in as you go. TIER 4AEddie Rosario, TwinsMax Kepler, TwinsAristides Aquino, RedsBrandon Lowe, Rays (1B, 2B)Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Blue Jays (2B)Andrew McCutchen, PhilliesAvisail Garcia, BrewersTIER 4BMichael Brantley, AstrosDavid Dahl, RockiesJeff McNeil, Mets (2B, 3B)Bryan Reynolds, PiratesTIER 4CByron Buxton, TwinsMallex Smith, MarinersTIER 4DCavan Biggio, Blue Jays (2B)Scott Kingery, Phillies (2B, 3B, SS)Danny Santana, Rangers (1B, 2B, 3B, SS)Ian Happ, Cubs (2B, 3B)Tommy Edman, Cardinals (2B, 3B)Wil Myers, Padres (1B)Nick Senzel, RedsFantasy Baseball OF Rankings: Tier 5We could have easily put many of our Tier-5 OFs into Tier 4, but for whatever reason, most have a few more question marks. Tier 5A features guys who can hit some HRs with a few SBs. Tier 5B has a pair of players who will hit slightly fewer HRs and steal a few more SBs (with good averages and runs scored, too). Tier 5C is for middling-average power hitters, though as noted with Tier 3B, we could see some surprise averages (like J.D. Davis’s last season). Tier 5D is one of the few low-power speedsters left in the league. There will probably be a few big seasons from guys in this tier. Maybe Kole Calhoun hits a ton of HRs; maybe Alex Verdugo is an RBI machine in Boston’s stacked lineup. Either way, you’re probably not going to be excited about any of these guys, but they make for great backups/fourth or fifth OFs in the late-middle or late rounds. None are worth targeting or reaching for unless you really need power or steals. TIER 5AGregory Polanco, PiratesShin-Soo Choo, RangersRyan Braun, Brewers (1B*)TIER 5BLorenzo Cain, BrewersAdam Eaton, NationalsTIER 5CRandal Grichuck, Blue JaysHunter Renfroe, RaysKole Calhoun, D-backsJ.D. Davis, Mets (3B)Joc Pederson, Dodgers (1B)David Peralta, D-backsMark Canha, A’s (1B)Hunter Dozier, Royals (1B, 3B)Brian Anderson, Marlins (3B)Alex Verdugo, Red SoxTIER 5DJarrod Dyson, PiratesFantasy Baseball Draft Strategies: Auction | Keeper/Dynasty | PointsFantasy Baseball Sleepers, Deep Sleepers, and Veterans: Tier-6 OFsDepending how deep your league is, you’re going to want to stash at least one of the young sleepers from Tier 6. Someone like Trent Grisham, Jo Adell, Austin Hays, or Tyler O’Neill could break out at some point this season. Of course, like many of the others in this tier, they could also never get regular at-bats and do next to nothing. At a certain point when looking over the 2020 fantasy baseball OF rankings, your eyes start to glaze over. Is there really a difference between the No. 34 outfielder and No. 54…or even No. 73, for that matter? When players produce in similar ways, it can be difficult to group them into tiers, especially at a position with so many options. But there are always subtle differences, be it age, injury history, or upside in a certain category, and noting these differences on your cheat sheet can go a long way when hunting for sleepers or putting together a draft strategy. Aside from the top tier, our OF tiers cast a pretty wide net. It’s not because we’re lazy (well, not entirely); it’s because there are so many similar players in terms of production and upside. We all know there will be surprise breakouts and disappointments every season, and with so many OFs available, we don’t want owners to overdraft a guy in a higher tier when the difference between him and someone else is razor thin. At certain points, we have to make those discernments, and we’ll do our best below to explain why. There are some dependable players here, like Brett Gardner, Nomar Mazara, and a few others. Unfortunately, the ceilings for those players are limited, so many fantasy owners will skip over them in the quest to find this year’s big breakout OF. That’s makes sense, but if you need a little power and speed, don’t be afraid to grab a veteran from Tier 6A. And if you just need some pop, don’t ignore a sure decent amount of HRs from someone in Tier 6B, such as Jay Bruce, who should be helped by the universal DH.TIER 6ABrett Gardner, YankeesTrent Grisham, PadresHarrison Bader, CardinalsJurickson Profar, Padres (2B)Jackie Bradley Jr., Red SoxA.J. Pollock, DodgersAustin Hays, OriolesKevin Kiermaier, RaysDomingo Santana, IndiansBrandon Nimmo, MetsJake Fraley, MarinersJake Bauers, Indians (1B)Kevin Pillar, Red SoxJordan Luplow, IndiansEnder Inciarte, BravesTIER 6BAustin Riley, Braves (3B*)Jesse Winker, RedsTeoscar Hernandez, Blue JaysNomar Mazara, White SoxJo Adell, AngelsEric Thames, Nationals (1B)Dominic Smith, Mets (1B)Yoenis Cespedes, MetsYoshi Tsutsugo, Rays (3B)Jay Bruce, Phillies (1B)Tyler O’Neill, CardinalsMike Yastrzemski, GiantsAnthony Santander, OriolesStephen Piscotty, A’sCorey Dickerson, MarlinsDominic Smith, Mets (1B)Garrett Cooper, Marlins (1B)Jesse Winker, RedsJose Martinez, Rays
Drafting closers is the ultimate guessing game in fantasy baseball. Sure, there are some (seemingly) dependable studs, like Aroldis Chapman, but every relief pitcher is just two or three bad appearances away from being on the hot seat. Throw in the injury factor and the unpredictable regression/improvement that can result from allowing just a few more or less homers than the previous year, and you have a position that’s difficult to rank, never mind separate into tiers or devise a draft strategy for. Heading into 2020, the closer positions appears to be settled for the vast majority of teams. We know that won’t last, as roughly two-thirds of teams change their closer, at least temporarily, at some point every season, but there are just a few teams that have legit open competitions for the ninth-inning job. Again, that could change before opening day because of injuries or bad springs, but even if it doesn’t, it’s important to remember that even some of the “secure” closers are anything but. Fantasy Baseball Deep Sleepers: Tier-6 RPsOur Tier-6 pitchers are middle relievers who generally provide a lot of Ks and good peripherals. These guys can have bigger overall impacts than lower-tier closers, especially if they can luck into some wins, but it’s tough to roster them in shallow leagues, especially weekly leagues (and even tougher to roster them in Quality Start leagues). It wouldn’t be a shock to see some of them getting closing opportunities, especially if there are injuries, but it’s tough to predict that in the spring. Still, drafting one in the last couple rounds can help balance out your pitching staff, especially if it’s a primary setup man who’s one injury away from racking up saves. If you’re really looking to maximize Ks, then Matt Barnes (15.4 K/9 ratio last year), Josh James (14.8), Tanner Rainey (13.9), Luke Jackson (13.1), Tommy Kahnle (12.9), Tyler Duffey (12.8), Freddy Peralta (12.6), Emilio Pagan (12.3), and Chad Green (12.0) are your guys. Darwinzon Hernandez (16.5 in 30.1 innings) and Drew Pomeranz (15.7 in 28.2 innings) also impressed last year. TIER 6Emilio Pagan, PadresDrew Pomeranz, PadresRyan Pressly, AstrosSeth Lugo, MetsMatt Barnes, Red SoxTyler Duffey, TwinsLuke Jackson, BravesJames Karinchak, IndiansJosh James, AstrosChad Green, YankeesShane Greene, BravesRyan Helsley, CardinalsDiego Castillo, RaysTommy Kahnle, YankeesBlake Treinen, DodgersFreddy Peralta, BrewersTy Buttrey, AngelsWill Harris, NationalsJose Alvarado, RaysAndres Munoz, PadresDarwinzon Hernandez, Red SoxTanner Rainey, NationalsAdam Ottavino, Yankees 2020 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300Unless you’re punting saves (not a recommended strategy), you’ll probably want to leave your draft with three closers. That’s not possible for everyone in a 12-team league (or even a 10-team league, if we’re being honest), but it’s ideal. That often leads to overdrafting RPs, which is a mistake, but that tends to be how things work out. If you have just two closers when your draft ends, you can live with that. Plenty more will pop up on the waiver wire once the season begins, so be vigilant. If you’re in a weekly league, all you need is two closers. If you want a “backup” in case one gets hurt or loses his job, just draft his handcuff. If you’re going all-in on closers and want to get four to really give yourself an advantage, you’re going to have to sacrifice some offense or starting pitching. That’s fine, but at least three of your closers need to be high-K guys to make up for the strikeouts you’re potentially not getting from a starter. Most closers are solid in strikeouts, but obviously some are better than others, and you need to prioritize them. The first closer in your draft will likely come off the board in the fifth or sixth round. There will be runs from that point on, so just be cognizant of when they start. You don’t necessarily need a Tier-1 closer, but you’ll want at least one who has a little bit of job security on opening day. That might mean you take closers in the ninth and 10th rounds, or maybe the eighth and 12th. You could also wait until the 12th and 13th. It really depends on how your draft is going. Some leagues see the closer runs start early, so read the room. And if everyone else is drastically overdrafting closers, clean up the hitter/starting pitcher values, grab some later-round RP sleepers, and work the wire once the season starts. DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2020 Fantasy Baseball Cheat SheetWho are the best fantasy baseball RPs?Eligibility based on Yahoo default settingsThe pitchers in Tier 1, with the possible exception of Roberto Osuna, are all elite strikeout producers who should be firmly entrenched in their roles to open the season. A few of them have warts — Chapman walks too many batters, Hader gives up too many homers — but these are stud pitchers who will rack up saves and help your ERA and WHIP.These guys will go anywhere from the fifth-eighth rounds. Jumping in early for one of them is risky (remember Blake Treinen and Edwin Diaz last year?), but it can pay off if you choose the right one. TIER 1Kirby Yates, PadresJosh Hader, BrewersRoberto Osuna, AstrosBrad Hand, IndiansAroldis Chapman, YankeesLiam Hendriks, A’sMore 2020 Fantasy Baseball: Auction Values | Mock Draft Simulator2020 Fantasy Baseball Tiers: Tier-2 RPsThere isn’t much difference between most of the Tier-2 guys and the guys in Tier 1, but overall, they’re just a bit more volatile. That’s especially true for Diaz and Craig Kimbrel, which is why they’re in Tier 2B. They were downright bad last year. We’re giving both the benefit of the doubt that they can figure out their HR issues and regain their All-Star forms. At the very least, they’ll strike out a lot of batters. The same goes for Brandon Workman, who was dominant last year despite a 5.7 BB/9 ratio. His K-rate skyrocketed and his HR-rate plummeted, so we’re a little skeptical that he’s for real, but if he has a similar season, he could produce like a Tier-1 closer. It helps that Alex Cora is gone as manager, too, as the Red Sox will be less likely to play matchups with their relievers. The pitchers in Tier 2A are a little more reliable, though Kenley Jansen has regressed the past two years, and Raisel Iglesias has a home run problem (and issues with his manager, which is never good for job security). The Twins had a tendency to play matchups in the late innings last year, which could hurt Rogers’ save totals, and Giles has been up and down the past four seasons, so he could be due for a bad one. There is a lot of upside with all four of these pitchers, but the worst versions of themselves could hurt your team.If your first closer is from this tier, that’s fine, but if it’s a Tier 2B guy, you might want to get another “secure” closer shortly after (Alex Colome? Ian Kennedy? Archie Bradley?). If you took a Tier-1 closer, you also have more wiggle room to gamble on comeback years from Diaz or Kimbrel. TIER 2ATaylor Rogers, TwinsKen Giles, Blue JaysKenley Jansen, DodgersRaisel Iglesias, RedsTIER 2BEdwin Diaz, MetsCraig Kimbrel, CubsBrandon Workman, Red Sox2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfielder | Starter | Each team2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: Tier-3 RPsTier 3 is the most likely tier to feature a surprise breakout closer. Most of the pitchers in this tier have high K-rates, with Nick Anderson a threat to lead the league in K/9 ratio (15.2 last year). Jose Leclerc also had a K/9 over 13 last year, the second straight season he’s accomplished that feat. The sub-tiers here represent job security. Those in Tier 3B have it (as much as any third-tier closer can have job security in March), while those in Tier 3A don’t. Anderson is considered the favorites for saves in Tampa, but the Rays never settled on a permanent closer last year — and it worked — so why would they this year? If we knew Anderson had some job security, he’d definitely be in Tier 2, so obviously there’s a lot of potential value here. The same goes for Leclerc, Keone Kela and Giovanny Gallegos in the tier below (when healthy), and even Hector Neris, who all have great stuff but also worries in the form of walks or homers. Sean Doolittle is coming off a down year, but he’s another guy with big upside if he can regain his form. You’re not going to be excited about drafting someone like Colome or Kennedy, but they are pretty reliable bets for saves. That has value. Ideally, you’d get one closer from this tier in the middle or late-middle rounds. They provide a lot of bang for your buck if they pay off, and if they flop, the opportunity cost isn’t nearly as high as for the guys in Tier 1 or Tier 2. TIER 3ANick Anderson, RaysTIER 3BHansel Robles, AnglesArchie Bradley, D-backsJose LeClerc, RangersHector Neris, PhilliesAlex Colome, White SoxSean Doolittle, NationalsIan Kennedy, Royals2020 Fantasy Baseball Tiers, Draft Strategy:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | StarterFantasy Baseball Rankings: Tier-4 RPsTier-4 features closers who should have the ninth-inning role to themselves on opening day, but they could hurt more than help even as they’re picking up saves. To be fair, we thought that about Shane Greene last year, and he was dynamite most of the season, especially in the first half, so anything is possible, but none of these pitchers inspire much confidence. Mark Melancon is the “safest” of the group and should arguably be in the tier above. The reason we put him down here is because the Braves have a bunch of capable, if not better, pitchers who can handle the ninth inning, including Will Smith, Luke Jackson, and the aforementioned Greene. We just have a tough time imagining Melancon sticking in the closer’s role, and with mediocre peripherals, we’re not sure how much long-term value he really has. Still, if you can get him in the late rounds, you won’t be sacrificing much, and if you back him up with Smith, you can get as much value as possible from this situation. In fact, if you draft any of these pitchers, it’s not a bad idea to grab their handcuffs, which would probably be Smith (Braves), Kyle Crick (Pirates), Drew Steckenrider (Marlins), Buck Farmer (Tigers), Scott Oberg (Rockies), and Hunter Harvey (Orioles). TIER 4Mark Melancon, BravesKeone Kela, PiratesBrandon Kintzler, MarlinsJoe Jimenez, TigersWade Davis, RockiesMychal Givens, OriolesFantasy Baseball Draft Strategies: Auction | Keeper/Dynasty | PointsFantasy Baseball Tiers: Tier-5 RPsIdeally, you wouldn’t mess with the pitchers in Tier 5, but somebody will take them, at least the guys in Tier 5A. Matt Magill and Tony Watson are slight favorites to open the season as their team’s respective closers, and while neither inspires much confidence, there’s a chance they could take the jobs and run with them. Magill ended last year as Seattle closer, and Watson has some closing experience from his time in Pittsburgh. Kwang-Hyum Kim and Kyle Crick will likely open the season asa their teams’ respective closers, but that might be temporary until Kela is healthy and Gallegos returns to the team (assuming he ever does).The pitchers in Tier 5B are the handcuffs/primary competition for saves we mentioned earlier. You don’t need to draft these guys outside of the deepest leagues, but a few of them can have standalone value, namely Smith and Sam Tuivailala. Harvey is also an intriguing flier after he converted to a reliever last year in the minors and struck out 33 batters in 23 innings between Triple-A and the majors. TIER 5AMatt Magill, MarinersTony Watson, GiantsKwang-Hyun Kim, CardinalsKyle Crick, PiratesTIER 5BGiovany Gallegos, CardinalsWill Smith, BravesScott Oberg, RockiesHunter Harvey, OriolesTrevor Gott, GiantsSam Tuivailala, MarinersYoshihisa Hirano, MarinersTyler Rogers, GiantsBuck Farmer, TigersDrew Steckenrider, Marlins
The gist: The top four teams in each conference will play each other once to determine seeding in the Stanley Cup playoffs, while the remaining eight teams in each conference play qualifiers to make the dance.Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ont. and Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alta., will play host to the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, with Rogers Place housing the conference finals and the Stanley Cup final. Should all go according to plan, with players staying healthy within the NHL’s bubble, the season is scheduled to end no later than Oct. 4. Here’s what you need to know about the round-robin and qualifying rounds and the start of the 2020 NHL playoffs:MORE: Everything to know about the NHL’s bubble citiesNHL playoff bracket 2020Eastern ConferenceRound robinThe top four teams will compete in a seeding round-robin tourney:DateGameTime/resultsAug. 2Flyers vs. BruinsFlyers 4, Bruins 1Aug. 3Capitals vs. LightningLightning 3, Capitals 2 (SO)Aug. 5Lightning vs. BruinsLightning 3, Bruins 2Aug. 6Capitals vs. FlyersFlyers 3, Capitals 1 Aug. 8Flyers vs. LightningFlyers 4, Lightning 1Aug. 9Bruins vs. CapitalsCapitals 2, Bruins 1Qualifying roundThe following are the matchups for the qualifying round, based on regular season standings/point percentage:SeriesResultsPenguins (5) vs. Canadiens (12)Canadiens win series 3-1Hurricanes (6) vs. Rangers (11)Hurricanes win series 3-0Islanders (7) vs. Panthers (10)Islanders win series 3-1Maple Leafs (8) vs. Blue Jackets (9)Blue Jackets win series 3-2Western ConferenceRound robinThe top four teams in the West face each other once:DateGameTime/resultsAug. 2Blues vs. AvalancheAvalanche 2, Blues 1Aug. 3Stars vs. Golden KnightsGolden Knights 5, Stars 3Aug. 5.Avalanche vs. StarsAvalanche 4, Stars 0Aug. 6Golden Knights vs. BluesGolden Knights 6, Blues 4Aug. 8Golden Knights vs. AvalancheGolden Knights 4, Avalanche 3 (OT)Aug. 9Stars vs. BluesStars 2, Blues 1 (SO)Qualifying roundBased on regular-season standings, the following are the matchups for the qualifying round in the West:SeriesResultsOilers (5) vs. Blackhawks (12)Blackhawks win series 3-1Predators (6) vs. Coyotes (11)Coyotes win series 3-1Canucks (7) vs. Wild (10)Canucks win series 3-1Flames (8) vs. Jets (9)Flames win series 3-1NHL playoff projectionsHere’s what the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs would look like if the qualifying rounds ended today (updated Aug. 9):Eastern Conference— Flyers (1) vs. Canadiens (8)— Lightning (2) vs. Blue Jackets (7)— Capitals (3) vs. Islanders (6)— Bruins (4) vs. Hurricanes (5)Western Conference— Golden Knights (1) vs. Blackhawks (8)— Avalanche (2) vs. Coyotes (7)— Stars (3) vs. Flames (6)— Blues (4) vs. Canucks (5)MORE: Here is a complete schedule for the NHL’s 2020 restartWhen do the NHL playoffs start in 2020?The 2020 Stanley Cup playoff qualifiers get underway on Saturday, Aug. 1. The Rangers and Hurricanes kick off the qualifying round with a Saturday matinee matchup in Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ont. The last games in both the qualifying and round-robin rounds are scheduled take place on Sunday, Aug. 9.The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs officially get underway on Tuesday, Aug. 11. Teams will be re-seeded after the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs.How do the NHL playoffs work?Prior to the start of the official Stanley Cup playoffs on Aug. 11, there are a few bells and whistles that are going to determine qualification and seeding in both conferences. Here’s how that will work:The top four teams in each conference play round-robin style to determine seeding for the top spots in the playoffs. Each team will play each other once, amounting in six games between Aug 2. and Aug. 9. The games will be played under regular season overtime and shootout rules.The remaining eight teams in each conference will play in a best-of-five series to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Seeding is based on regular-season standings. These games are played under playoff overtime rules (golden goal). After the qualifying rounds and round-robin play is completed, teams advance to the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. The highest seeds will play the lowest seeds, per usual, with re-seeding after both the first and second rounds.Every series from the first round to the last horn of the Stanley Cup Final are seven games, per usual, with the NHL’s two hub cities hosting the first two rounds. The conference finals and Stanley Cup Final will be held in Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alta.NHL standings 2020Eastern Conference The chase for the Cup is back on.After a four-month layoff, the ice is cooled, the teams are hot and the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs officially get underway on Aug. 11. The coronavirus pandemic has forced the NHL to get a bit creative with its restart, and because of that, hockey-starved fans get a little dose of semi-playoffs with teams jockeying for playoff position and playoff spots over a week span starting on Saturday. RankTeamWLOTLPointsPoints pct1Bruins441412100.7142Lightning4321692.6573Capitals4120890.6524Flyers4121789.6455Penguins4023686.6236Hurricanes3825581.5967Islanders35231080.5888Maple Leafs3625981.5799Blue Jackets33221581.57910Panthers35221581.56511Rangers3728579.56412Canadiens3131971.50013Sabres3031868.49314Devils28291268.49315Senators25341262.43716Red Wings1749539.275The Sabres, Devils, Senators and Red Wings all missed the playoffs.Western ConferenceRankTeamWLOTLPointsPoints pct1Blues42191094.6622Avalanche4220892.6573Golden Knights3924886.6064Stars3724882.5945Oilers3725983.5856Predators3526878.5657Canucks3627678.5658Flames3627779.5649Jets3728680.56310Wild3627777.55811Coyotes3329874.52912Blackhawks3230872.51413Ducks2933967.47214Kings2935664.45715Sharks2936563.450The Ducks, Kings and Sharks all miss out on the chase for the Cup.
EAGLE GROVE — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has fined a Wright County egg production and processing facility for violations related to the improper discharge of wastewater.The DNR says Daybreak Foods of Eagle Grove agreed in January 2018 not to illegally discharge pollutants to a water of the state. In November of last year, the DNR received a complaint that a tributary to the Boone River was green in color.A DNR investigator later observed discolored water at a tile discharge, a grassed waterway discharge, and as part of ponding water near the base of a lagoon. Field tests later showed that wastewater was being discharged.As part of a consent agreement, Daybreak Foods agreed to a $7000 administrative penalty and to cease all illegal discharges into the tributary.
CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake Volunteer Fire Department has received an anonymous donation to be used to purchase a remotely operated underwater vehicle to be utilized for search and rescue operations throughout north-central Iowa.Fire Chief Doug Meyers says it’s basically a computer-controlled submarine the size of travel luggage that can be used from a boat platform in the open-water season as well as from the ice during the winter months. “The drone itself has a couple of different sensors on it. There’s some high-intensity lighting that’s included with it, and a live video camera. Probably the most important part is a multi-beam sonar that’s attached to it. That would be much more useful when the water is kind of cloudy or poor visibility, like at night when you don’t have a lot of ambient lighting. The sonar is a real high-intensity sonar that allows for basically 3D imaging objects in the water, whether it be a victim of a drowning or a submerged piece of equipment like an ATV or car or something like that.”Meyers says when reflecting on the past, this piece of equipment would have been a tremendous help in rescue efforts. “What it does is that it really would shorten down the length of time you could do a search of an area, plus in the event that you were able to locate something with traditional side-scan sonar, this would allow you to grab a hold of the victim with some sort of retrievable device on it, or deploy some sort of marking system, whether it would be a small buoy or line to the victim, that you could use for the retrieval process.”Meyers says the device would also help reduce the number of department members in the water searching for a victim, especially in the winter months. “In particular in Clear Lake when we have the aerator sections that are wide open and really cover a large area, especially in the early and late season when you may have areas of 30 or 40 acres of open water, and it’s almost impossible to get a small boat to those areas and then use traditional sonar. This could be deployed directly from the ice, and we have about 450 feet of tether line that we could use from the safety of the ice shelf without putting people in the water.”Meyers says it’s great to see people step up such as the anonymous donor for this piece of equipment as well as those who made the donation for the department’s fire boat. “The fire boat was donated by a couple that was passionate about the lake as well as the community as a whole. They had a lot of experience with boating and sailing. Those are the type of people that make living in Iowa great, they look forward to giving back to communities when they have opportunities.”Meyers says they will have a couple of weeks of training before having the device ready for use, and he says under their mutual aid agreements, it will be available for other departments to use when needed.
DES MOINES — Republican Congressman Steve King Friday afternoon said he wishes he had phrased a recent statement about abortion differently, but he said the statement “was objectively honest and accurate.”Two weeks ago, King told a central Iowa group that given “all the rape and pillage” over the centuries, there might not be any population of the world left if all the “products of rape and incest” were removed from “all the family trees.” King hosted a news conference in Des Moines to discuss the topic.“I would point out that genealogists have contacted me and said that’s 100% correct,” King said. “I’d rather deliver that in a little softer way, though.”King said the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” carries that message, as an angel showed the film’s main character what life in his community would have been like had he not been born. King was joined at the news conference by a handful of people who, like King, support an abortion ban without exceptions for rape and incest. “Save the 1” president Rebecca Kiesling thanked King for his comments and accused King’s critics of classifying those who are conceived in rape as she was as “sub-human.”“You just throw it around like it’s some kind of political game and you throw out these headlines like it’s a frickin’ joke. It’s not. You’re talking about real people, about our lives and you’re so callous and flippant,” Kiesling said. “And I am so grateful that there are others who are willing to put themselves out there when they don’t have a personal stake go like I do.”Personhood Iowa executive director Tim Overlin said King is among the few politicians who have “gone to the wall” on the abortion issue.“If we’re not going to back them up, then I don’t know how we can expect them to keep fighting against the folks in and outside of the party,” Overlin said.Tamara Scott, host of a program called “Truth for Our Time” on YouTube, said the evidence of rape and incest is destroyed if there’s an abortion.“Crimes go unnoticed, criminals go unpunished, predators run free, women and children remain in danger,” Scott said. “..The media and lawmakers have it within their means to put an end to this tragedy.”Scott is also the Iowa Republican Party’s National Committeewoman and a lobbyist for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, but Scott said she was not at the news conference to endorse King or get involved in King’s Republican Primary. Three Republicans in the fourth congressional district are challenging King’s bid for a 10th term in the U.S. House.